Seven Things You Might Not Know About Geography Awareness Week

November 6, 2013

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This year Geography Awareness Week is Nov. 17-23, with GIS Day falling on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The event started in 1987, and this year coincides with the National Geographic Society’s 125th birthday.


While formally called Geography Awareness Week (and sometimes connected with Geography Action and My Wonderful World), the shorthand for the event is now “GeoWeek.”

Campus Challenge

This year National Geographic is looking for campus representatives to help spread the word about GeoWeek. Potential representatives are asked to host and promote campus events via social and other media. Students who earn 500 points can receive a certificate from National Geographic and “give your faculty something awesome to write about in all their letters of recommendation.”

Reference Library

National Geographic has a reference library that includes both an encyclopedia and a glossary “of information about geography terms you should know.” GIS is defined with the “G” as both geographic and geospatial.

Themes are Out, Slogans are In

In the past, each year has had a theme or focus. Now each year has a slogan “celebrating a facet of geography,” but participants are encouraged to explore any aspect of the discipline in their lesson plans, events and other activities. This year’s slogan (or well, theme, per the Education Blog) is “Geography and the New Age of Exploration.”

Archive of Materials

National Geographic has collected all the materials from the past years of events in an archive for teachers, leaders and parents to use in putting together events this year and into the future. You can find materials from the old “themes” such as migration, Africa and rivers.

The Alliances are Aware

The State Geographic Alliances and international organizations are often leaders in geography education in their states and countries and leaders during GeoWeek. Check out what’s going on in:


GIS Day has far more supporters than I recall in the past. Esri offers up a gallery of timely and quirky Story Maps to help introduce the idea of GIS.


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